Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  July 31, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT

8:00 am
07/31/12 07/31/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> the sponsors are the elite of the global elite from the corporate world, so you have coca-cola, mcdonald's, cadbury -- not the friends he may think of when you think of elite athleticism. >> prime seats bought a corporations remained anti at olympic games, police crackdown on protesters outside. on friday, 182 cyclists were arrested outside olympic park. we will have a report from jules boykoff and what you not see on
8:01 am
nbc's wall-to-wall coverage. and counting the 2002 olympics. >> york train for that one moment. >> the were mired in scandal and deficits. they turned to mitt romney. >> he faced a $400 million budget deficit and turned it around to $100 million surplus. >> investigative reporter wayne barrett and have key figures in a solid city olympic breeze can remain influential backers of romney's presidential run. a look at how the world's super rich are hiding as much as $132 trillion and tax havens, twice as much as the gross domestic product of the united states. today, james henry. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and
8:02 am
peace report. i'm amy goodman. shooting suspect james holmes has been charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder for the killings of 12 people at a movie theater in aurora, colorado earlier this month iran had also left 58 people wounded, several critically, for which james holmes faces 116 counts of attempted murder. on monday, he made the second court appearance since the massacre, with shooting survivors and relatives of the slain victims in attendance. prosecutors have yet to announce whether they'll seek the but a penalty. a pretrial hearing has been set for late september. syrian government troops and rebel forces are engaged in intense fighting as the battle for aleppo continues for a fourth day. both sides have authored -- offered conflicting recounts with the syrian military claiming to have retaken several rebel-held areas. overnight shelling in many neighborhoods.
8:03 am
government forces are again being accused of targeting international monitors after a convoy carrying the head of the observer mission was attacked monday. at the end of nations, secretary-general ban ki-moon condemned the violence. >> the government [unintelligible] with fighter aircraft and helicopters. the armed opposition groups have stepped up their attacks. each day as the violence spirals, more civilians are killed, injured, tortured, or forced to flee their homes or their country. >> republican candidate mitt romney has drawn international criticism for suggesting that a superior culture, not occupation, explains the gap between israeli and palestinian economies. speaking at a fundraiser attended by wealthy u.s. donors in jerusalem, romney spoke of a "dramatically stark difference
8:04 am
in economic vitality" between israel and the occupied territories. he concluded -- romney added similar economic differences are present in other neighboring countries such as the u.s. and mexico. in his comments, romney also grossly understated income gap between israelis and palestinians living under occupation. palestinians have denounced bronner's remarks and others say romney had been racist. >> [unintelligible] >> in his remarks, romney lavished praise on israel's socialist medical system, applauding and for its lower rate of gdp spending than in the
8:05 am
united states. romney was in israel as part of a three-nation foreign tour that has brought him to poland. democrats appear poised to adopt same-sex marriage as part of their convention platform, becoming the first major party to do so. the democratic party drafting committee reportedly voted unanimously over the weekend to approve language endorsing same- sex marriage. it now faces a vote before the entire platform committee in two weeks. another vote then by convention delegates in charlotte, north carolina in september. the move comes after president obama become the first sitting president to declare his support for same-sex marriage in may. federal judges refused to block an anti-abortion law in arizona clearing the way for it to take effect later this week. the law bans abortion after 20 weeks gestation or 18 exposed fertilization, except in medical emergencies. abortion-rights advocates have vowed to repeal calling the measure among the most extreme of more than six similar bans across the u.s. a group of undocumented
8:06 am
immigrant activists say that ample traded a detention facility in power to, florida and on dozens of immigrants there who should be released under the obama administration's policies. seven organizers with panache democrat youth alliance allow themselves to be placed in deportation proceedings in order to organize with detainees at the board detention center. the group says they found more than 60 detainees with no criminal record or part deportation, some of whom were detained as passengers in vehicles. they also found detainee's in need of immediate care including one with a blood clot in is like another with a bullet in his spine. despite an action announced by president obama to stop deportations of undocumented youth, the group said they found more than a dozen young detainee's who would qualify for the dream act, a legislative proposal granting residency to certain you to enter the country as minors. the obama administration officials have promised to comb through backlogged cases and close those involving immigrants
8:07 am
with no criminal records and strong family ties, if your than 2% of deportation cases have been closed -- fewer than 2% of deportation cases have been closed. found not guilty in the cause of death for danny chen. a 19-attorneys american, danny chen, allegedly took his own life just weeks after he was deployed to afghanistan last october. his family says he and abused by comrades on an almost daily basis, including racist hazing with soldiers throwing rocks at him, calling him slurs and forcing him to do pushups or hang upside down with his mouth full of water. all eight accused soldiers were his superiors in rank. the first soldier to stand trial was acquitted of negligent homicide monday, but found guilty on two counts of maltreatment and one count of bysault consummate a by th
8:08 am
battery. >> if you are going to send a strong signal to both our community and that committee at large, -- and the community at large, that there is no room for any so-called superior who harbors racist feelings to be in the army, then you dishonorably discharged sergeant adam hokum from the u.s. army. he is a disgrace to the army and does not represent the principles of respect the army so upholds. >> in other wikileaks founder julian assange has traveled to ecuador in a bid to campaign for his asylum request. his taken refuge of the ecuadorian embassy in london as he fights extradition to sweden, ultimately seeks to avoid being handed over to the u.s. on monday, his mother said her son deserves international protection. >> wikileaks and julian are
8:09 am
doing something for the world, and we have millions of supporters among the people of the world. this is more than an issue now of just wikileaks or just julian assange. this is an issue of justice and the future of press freedom, so regardless of what we may feel personally, we are fighters, like you are, and we don't give into belize. this is one of the reasons julian cholos ecuador. >> protesters opposed to mountaintop coal mine shut down operations at a west virginia strip mine over the weekend with a series of court added lockdowns and banner drops. police said about 20 activists were arrested after the action saturday at patriot strychnine in lincoln county, was virginia. most of them charged with trespassing. activists criticize the obama
8:10 am
administration's regulatory policies and said mining practices are in danger in the health and safety of people and appalachia. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin our show with the 2012 summer olympic games where 10,000 athletes from across the world are competing at the olympic park in east london. while nbc has been airing wall- to-wall coverage of the games, little attention has been paid to what has taken place just outside olympic park. in the latest crackdown on dissent, london police arrested 182 people friday for taking part of the monthly critical mass bike ride. it took place during the olympics opening ceremony. the cyclists say there were cattle by police and held overnight. one of those arrested was a 13- year-old schoolboy and another was a protester who identified herself as melanie >. >> [unintelligible] that is why i was arrested.
8:11 am
in olympic hero came to speak in london a short while ago, and during his talk he got us to repeat, "i am not afraid of offending my oppressors crime i would like to do the right now. it is a port where not silenced by heavy handed authorities try to stamp out any kind of defense. we have our right to do this in a democratic society. we ought to be able to challenge. it is not appropriate that people are treated as criminals for speaking the truth, is what it comes down to. repeat after me. i am not afraid of offending my oppressor. >> i am not afraid of offending my oppressor. >> london has rolled out its largest secured operation since
8:12 am
world war ii, approximately 18,200 armed forces, personnel are providing security for the olympic games, almost double the number of british troops serving in afghanistan. helicopters, a bomb disposal units are on the stand by by the ministry of defense, also missile launchers are attached to some roofs of buildings. the mayor defended the massive security operation. >> we were always when have loads of military personnel anyway, so it really has not changed. i think most people in this country don't have any objection at all to seeing venues being properly insulated by professional military armed services people. >> inside the olympics, the london organizing committee is trying to quell public outcry over the empty seats at olympic venues. thousands of fans were told the games were sold out for years while prime seats reserved largely for sports federations and corporate sponsors have remained empty.
8:13 am
organizers have started drafting in local children and army volunteers to fill the empty bleachers. the chairman of the london organizing committee says he is trying to resolve the issue. >> no one wants to see seats empty. that is why we will make sure, where we possibly can, that we get people into the seats. >> although many locals cannot afford to attend the games, this year's olympics is estimated to cost the british taxpayers a staggering $17 billion. at the same time, residents near the olympic park have been subjected to sweeping censorship laws enacted by their government at the behest of the international olympic committee. the laws limit the use of olympic language and imagery strictly to official sponsors such as visa, mcdonalds, and ge. activists are outraged at the olympics long list of sponsors includes companies such as dow chemical and bp. they say the corporations' human rights records are at odds with
8:14 am
the olympic ideals of global peace and goodwill. we go to london, joined byj, is as a professor of political science at pacific university and crowley visiting scholar at university of brighton. he is writing a book on dissent and the olympics. he played for the u.s. olympic soccer team in international competition from 1989-1991 and had a piece in "the new york times goes good headline "olympian arrogance." welcome to "democracy now!" let's start off with the protest outside and the thousands of empty seats inside the olympic arenas. >> last weekend, the counter and a bit network organized a large mobilization dollars olympic network organized a large mobilization more people showed up from 50 different groups to protest what they see as injustices are around the games. we took a march through some of the areas affected by the olympics. we walked through the quarter that includes a tall tower where
8:15 am
some of the surface-to-air missiles you mentioned are located. we saw army personnel peaking their heads over the top of the roof and looking down at us, kind of curiously. there were speakers near the end. i think it is important to take a step back before we think about the tickets and think about why people might be upset about the tickets and the bigger picture. people in london have paid for these games and do not feel like they're getting what they paid for. in 2005, when london won the bid for the games, they told their citizens the games would cost about $3.5 billion. after that, the price that catapulted. some people said, local and the cost and over-the benefits has become an olympic sport in itself. you could see the costs have reached almost $18 billion. i think those numbers are staggering in themselves, but deserve a closer look.
8:16 am
if you calculate who is kicking in that money, somewhere between 80%-98% is being paid for by the taxpaying public. british taxpayers are being told this is a public-private partnership, but extremely lopsided one at that. this led to the question among the people, for whom does this juggernaut boom? moody's gave an answer in the lead up to the games when they issued a report saying, there is not going to be any long-term game for londoners for hosting the olympics, but for the short term, the beneficiaries would be what they called corporates. tony blair was instrumental in getting the bid for london in 2005 and said, just be quiet. this is one of the "gigantic" schmooz-a-thon. he was talking about the
8:17 am
corporates. it will not be for the people of one of the boroughs, one of the poorest areas in london hosting the games, or for the estate that were kicked out of their homes and have their places bulldozed to make way for olympic venues. it will be for the corporates. it is extremely painful in the context of european austerity. people in london no europe is roiling and austerity. they see serious budget cuts in the u.k., and are none too happy about paying for the olympic games. in terms of the tickets, it has been painful because they handed over large blocks of tickets to the international sports federations, corporate sponsors, and to international olympic committee. huge blocks, millions of tickets they are not using. meanwhile, tons of people from around the country applied to get tickets but were turned away.
8:18 am
people across the political spectrum are unhappy about the funding of the games and how it is playing out in terms of ticketing. >> last thursday, republican presidential candidate mitt romney took a bit of controversy in britain after the question the country's preparedness to host the olympic games. ronnie was speaking to rhineland's -- romney was speaking to nbc's brian williams. >> there were stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials -- that is not something that is encouraging. in the games, there are three parts to make it successful. no. what are the athletes. member to are the volunteers. they will have great volunteers. no. 3, the people of the country. do they come together and celebrate the olympic moment? that is something we only find out once the games begin. in response, the british prime minister david cameron said his country is adequately prepared
8:19 am
for its host duties. >> we're holding an olympic games and one of the busiest, most active cities anywhere in the world. of course it is easier if you hold the games in the middle of nowhere. >> jules boykoff, your response? >> it is amazing when mitt romney arrived on the british shores, he seems to of turn themselves into a two legged that thematic. people across the spectrum have been laughing at him he was pilloried in the press from the right-wing daily now to the left-wing guardian. my favorite has to be from " evening standard" or the referred to him as the "american borat." you mentioned cameron spoke strongly against him, so did boris johnson in a public space, so as jeremy hunt, and what is interesting to me is these are conservative politicians who are speaking out against romney. romney has attacked something
8:20 am
they have invested a lot political capital in, but it just points to how far right the political center of gravity in the u.s. has shifted where conservatives in the uk field no responsibility whatsoever to support the conservatives in the u.s. david cameron and his crew have a lot more in common in terms of policies with people like barack obama than they do with people like mitt romney or even like rick santorum or newt gingrich. >> it is interesting you say that. david cameron declared he could no longer see a time when his austerity program would be over. asked if that meant the cuts would carry on until 2020, he did not dumber. interesting are drawing parallels to the u.s.. >> these austerity cuts, i certainly do not think they are widely supported on the left in the u.k., for darn sure. but the policies romney is basically talking about,
8:21 am
privatize anything with a polls, any kind of public works project been dismissed. there is still a strong base in the u.k. and its more support across the political spectrum than in the u.s.. >> jules boykoff and with good to the issue of the corporations, the ones that have the sold-out seats for years but no one is in them. corporations are not people, so we can see the empty stadiums on tv. activists are outraged that the olympics long list of sponsors include companies like dow chemical and bp. they say the corporations' human rights records are at odds with the olympic ideals of global peace and goodwill. this is activist santinath sarangi explaining why five organizations resulting -- representing survivors of the bhopal gas tragedy in central india or organizing a special olympics in protest of the dow chemicals' partnership with the london olympics. >> the special olympics are
8:22 am
opposing dow chemical's sponsorship of the london olympics. we hold this is an attempt by dow chemical to greenwash its crimes of bhopal, to greenwash its criminal activities it has inherited from union carbide. >> santinath sarangi added that children affected from the bhopal tragedy are taking part in mock olympic games such as assisted walking and crab racing as a sign of protest. jules boykoff? >> that is right. that is but one of the strong footholds for activists, the corporate sponsorships, that are really in your face. coca-cola as a corporate sponsor, not known for health food. another one, the french i t firm that has been responsible in the pay for putting forth this work capability assessment, which basically assessed with the people who are on the rolls for
8:23 am
the disabled are sick delaware- or sick could actually get out there and work. it has led to tens of thousands of sick people and disabled people being kicked off his support roles in the uk. that is especially tough, since there also a sponsor not just of the olympics, but of the paralympic games as well. this is been a great way for activists to point out some of the contradictions that are inherent in having huge corporate sponsors with very dodgy backgrounds. the olympics provide a real opportunity for activists. we often say the entire world is watching. in fact, with the olympics, it almost is. a recent poll and the rest on more than 80% of the people will be following -- in the u.s. fell more than 80% of the people will be following the olympics. >> union carbide responsible for the bhopal catastrophe was bought by dow chemical, dow
8:24 am
chemical that was famous during vietnam for making the napalm. i want ask about another corporation, mining giant rio tinto. it is the corporation providing the metal in the olympic medals. international groups are protesting the corporation for its allegedly poor treatment of its employees and the environment. this is a mine operator at kennecott utah copper mine, which is owned by rio tinto. >> being a part of the olympics by providing me ore for the metal was a great privilege for us. the olympics is the pinnacle of sports. anytime you can provide any part of it, you're a part of that panicle. my co-workers and nine are certainly excited we can be a part of that. cox jules boykoff, if you could comment on rio tinto and talk about the militarization of london right now, and the people most affected, the communities
8:25 am
in east london? >> sure. rio tinto is another classic example of a greenwash. there are responsible for incredible amounts of pollution where they operate, whether it is utah or mongolia. they're supplying the metals through their products they mine. another classic example of what has gone wrong with corporate sponsorship at the games. in terms of militarization, the security forces have used the olympic games as their own private atm. it allows them to get themselves whatever weapons they have ever wanted but have not been able to get. they are able to get all sorts of stuff through the olympic games. scotland yard just stockpiled many, many plastic bullets. the people of east london are affected. there are stations set up where
8:26 am
people, regular citizens, can go into various parts and watch some of the olympic festivities on big tvs. but the other day, the monitoring project, in east london based anti-racism group which also does a great job of preparing community legal observers to go out during the olympic moment to make sure their populations are not being attacked anjali and his olympic moment, there reported some of their selah volunteers were not allowed into these venues. you see the security guards turning people away. they were blamed for littering, which is ludicrous, which they're just passing out cards that tell them about their rights. we see it across be paid in london as well. glocks i want ask about racism. the greek olympic committee has confirmed the expulsion of a track and field athlete in the been set to compete in the triple jump. voula papachristou was expelled over an allegedly racist, she
8:27 am
made on twitter. the translation reads -- the international olympic committee said athletes have to be more careful about the way they express themselves in a new era of social media. >> the roles that are said to an unbroken are rules that been around long before social media. dollars the rules that are said to have been broken our rules the had been around long before social media. with social media, one has to be more careful in the way one expresses themselves. we urge all athletes to take care. there are clear guidelines for the aggies to follow on what they can and cannot do, and must relate to the way they talk about other athletes in the way they express themselves. >> is that athletes have to be more careful about the way they express themselves.
8:28 am
your response? >> it is a russian athletes use their pedestal to put out racist ideas -- id is a real shame when athletes use their pedestal to put out racist ideas. they say, these things are getting high profile mentioned in the news. but you see every day racism in on the streets. there's a dispersals and set up around east london that if there is more than two people in them, police can come along if they think they are engaging in antisocial behavior and kick them out of the area and make them not return. those are pressed against marginalized populations and racial minorities. but on the streets, we see how these laws are being selectively enforced. it reminds me of the late alexander cockburn who once rode a long time back, these special rules and laws sit
8:29 am
around in the grass like snakes and at the opportune moment, they pop out their heads and by the ankles of activists. that is what we a scene among police. selective enforcement of these laws on activists and others. >> florists cannot arrange flowers in the olympic symbol, the five circles? is it true that florists cannot arrange flowers in the olympic symbol? >> that's right. if they're trying to make money out of the deal, they cannot under the 2006 games act. it is illegal to engage in that behavior. it is seen as ambush marketing. we have seen a florist get asked to take down a display. if she had not done so, she would face a 20,000-pound fine. >> jules boykoff, thank you for joining us.
8:30 am
visiting scholar in reverse their britain, been in england since april. his writing a book on dissent in the olympics is peace is called "olympian arrogance" and we will have a link to a bridge when we come back from break, we will be joined by wayne barrett about mitt romney and his history with the olympics. stay with us. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
8:31 am
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue our coverage of the olympics with a look at republican presidential hopeful mitt romney's role heading the
8:32 am
2002 summer olympics in salt lake city, utah. the games were plagued by a massive bribery scandal and romney was called in to take it over. he often touts the expense while on his campaign trail. this is an excerpt of a newly released ad of the pro-romney super pac restore our future, set to run in 11 states and features olympic gold medalist kristi yamaguchi. >> as an athlete, your training for that one moment at the olympics. across the americas winter olympics were mired in scandal and deficits. they turn to mitt romney. >> he faced a $400 million budget deficit and turned it around to $100 million surplus. >> there's another side to romney's olympic record. wayne barrett reveals in a new series of articles, romney was brought in to resolve the 2002 ethics crisis, but he may have violated the new ethics rules he put in place. today, mitt romney continues to accept campaign contributions from many key figures tied to
8:33 am
the bribery scandal -- including utah businessman d. fraser bullock, who is featured in the pro-romney ad we just played. for more we go to wayne barrett. one of his latest pieces for the newsweek/daily beast is, "romney's shady connections from salt lake olympics still paying off." his new mother jones report is called, "i couldn't love him more: how romney steered a key olympic project to a friend." welcome back to "democracy now!" tallis, who are mitt romney's friends and how do they relate to the olympics, which is one of the few things on his resume that he is really touting to show why should be qualified to be president? >> when your producer, yesterday i said, with all the gaffs, i think he's going to give up even as part of his resume. his given at massachusetts, bain has been taken away, in the last thing is the salt lake olympics.
8:34 am
he embarrassed himself so badly, i did not think he would be stressing desperate a few hours after i spoke to your producer, they put up this ad. he has got a very weakened resume. let's give him full credit for what happened in salt lake. i think he was a managerial success. i think he overstates what he achieved there, but i think he was the managerial success. the problem is that he was brought in because of the worst olympic scandal in history, and he a friend it and awarded contracts to people deeply involved in the scandal that caused him to be recruited to this rescue operation. he is still collecting money from them. i have written about three different characters, one of whom fled guilty in the olympic scandal, one of whom took the fifth amendment and the grand jury and was immunized and testified at a criminal trial that he made $131,000 in cash
8:35 am
payoffs to mitt romney's predecessor, the prior ceo of the olympic games. in the third of which was the most recent story, ken gardner, mitt romney's closest friend and saleh. he is a very powerful leader in salt lake. they met when they both ran the mormon stake in boston years earlier. kim gardner, recruited mitt romney for this job. he offered it in an initial conversation and got him his job down in salt lake. he is the -- mitt romney's son was working for him until last year. he is extraordinarily close to the family and i think it violated the very ethical will see introduced shortly after he took office, which was you had
8:36 am
to disclose any relationship with anybody who was doing business with the committee. he went before the board of trustees on 24 hours' notice and urged they select the gateway shopping mall project of kem garden as a location for the only legacy plaza, only legacy facility that was ever built. that is really whenever mitt romney goes back to salt lake, just did it in february for the 10th anniversary, the events are held at gateway plaza were his friend kem garden runs this giant shopping mall. he got a four on $7 million tax break for putting out this legacy plaza. -- he got a $4.7 million tax break for putting out this legacy plaza. it was approved in violations of the regulations he introduced. it has been an enormous benefit to guard at his destination and
8:37 am
his shopping mall. >> i want to play a clip of mitt romney in february when he took a break from the presidential campaign trail to return to salt lake city to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2002 winter games. >> what i learned from the games is there is power and unity. we came together as a group of people not caring about who got credit, but who put on the best games in the history of sports and you did, and i will always be proudest of having been part of the salt lake organizing committee for the olympic winter games. >> one of the people joining romney on the stage in february was fraser bullock, who served as victims of chief operating officer. talk more about who he is and his relationship with romney both then and now through the >> he was at romney's side. they were together at bain capital. he comes in and handles all the books and letters and finances. when romney leaves shortly after
8:38 am
the games to run for governor of massachusetts, he took over and was ceo until the books were closed down at the end of 2002. he was at romney's side -- i quote people saying, would never have a mitt romney, the governor's representative on the board, would never have had a mitt romney without a fraser bullock. fraser bullock and his family and his business associates, at the time i wrote this and they may have given more sense, gave almost $800,000 to mitt romney's campaign. the people have written about in these three stores have collectively given over $2 million to the romney campaign, including the ticket broker involved in the london games. he got his first exclusive contract from mitt romney. he is the one he made the $131,000 in cash payoffs and fraser bullock has become his
8:39 am
partner in jet sport and coast port, the two companies screwing up the olympics right now. fraser bullock is the only minority investor. all the other stock is held by another family. he holds this band-like private equity firm in utah. virtually, all of the partners and investors and the companies they service had made contributions to mitt romney. >> explain more, for those not familiar with the corruption scandal of that time. >> it was the worst in the history of the olympics. at $1.1 million and favors delivered by the salt lake organizing committee to members of the ioc, international olympic committee, that were selecting the site read these favors were clearly designed to try to influence their boats. david simmons and his family,
8:40 am
and have given another half million dollars, he pled guilty to having given a fake job to the son of the vice chair of the ioc at his communications company, radio company. it was partly an immigration scandal and parlay a tax scam. but it was a totally fraudulent job that was given to the son of an ioc member. kem carter was never directly implicated in the crimes, but he was the head of intermountain and chairman of the board of intermountain health care and was designated back in those years when he was not chairman, as one of the interface with the olympic committee. that helps service did surgery on three members of the ioc the alleged the health service did surgery on three members of the ioc for free. it was done over a period of time into the selection of salt lake as the site for the 2002
8:41 am
games. >> what questions should romney be forced to answer about the 2002 olympics, and one about lake michigan? >> the key question which the mainstream media seems to be saying, we're going along with the bain critique of what the olympic things sit there as a credit, but why is he taking all this money from people who were implicated in the very scandal that brought him there? why is he taking this money? what is the nature of his relationship with these folks that corrupted the games? i wrote a piece for the daily beast that came out on sunday about the other part of his career that is ignored, which is he spent 10 years as a business consultant before he created bain capital. seven of those were at bain and co. into and that at a boston consulting group. i looked at two consulting client that happen to pollute the lake or he first kissed ann
8:42 am
romney. >> and you found? >> i found in both cases, and one is monsanto, which i think belongs on the list of the worst corporations in the history of the country, and the other is pcb's supplied in the hydraulic fluids used to drive the die casting machines that outboard marine, which was the largest boat engine manufacturer in the u.s. at the time, but since been acquired -- by the way, by a company controlled by bain capital -- but outboard dumped 1.1 million pcb's in lake michigan. and also write about three or four other monsanto's sites on lake michigan where they supplied pcb's. but michigan has been polluted largely by monsanto and partially by out for marine.
8:43 am
>> and romney's connection to this? >> the connection with monsanto was clearly spelled out in the article. if it were quotes from several executive articles. they were saying they were brought in, bain, was brought in to deal with precisely these kinds of problems and reconfigure the company to get beyond the problems they had in connection with dow chemical. dow chemical and monsanto or the manufacturers of agent orange during the vietnam war and had that kind of problem pushing them back in those days, and that the problem with the pcb's , which were the largest chemical disaster in the history of the country. they were the monopoly manufacturer. in thensanto made pcb's u.s. deadline he was clearly part of the consulting team that thought monsanto through the pcb
8:44 am
crisis and reconfigured it now as the company that is making roundup and some of these other products. >> we want to leave it there, but continue to hear your reports as to government romney for newsweek/daily beast and also mother jones. previously, wayne barrett spent 37 years at the village voice here in new york. it is great to have you back. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, $32 trillion and offshore tax havens? that is what we will be talking about the former chief economist at mckinsey. stay with us. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
8:45 am
8:46 am
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to a new report that reveals how wealthy individuals and their families have between $21 trillion and $32 trillion of hidden assets around the world and what are known as offshore accounts or tax havens. the conservative estimate of $21 trillion is as much money is the entire annual economic output of the u.s. and japan combined. the actual sums could be higher because the study only deals with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts. the inquiry was commissioned by the tax justice network and is being touted as the most comprehensive report ever on the offshore economy. it is called, "the price of offshore revisited." according to the report, less than 100,000 people worldwide
8:47 am
own almost $10 trillion of the wealth held in tax havens. to talk more about the implications of these findings, we're joined by the report's author, james henry, economist and lawyer, and board member of the tax justice network. it is great to have you with us. tell us what you found. >> to $21 trillion figure is a shock to a lot of people. it represents about 10% of global wealth. from that standpoint, we think it is i reasonable number. a lot of it is just to the top 100,000 people in the world. the second thing that is striking, the role of the great international banks that we of all come to know and love. ubs, credit suisse, jpmorgan -- all these banks, big recipients of bailout money from taxpayers,
8:48 am
and also deeply implicated in the financial crisis in 2008 to the current time. these folks have specialized in helping the wealthiest people on the planet take their money offshore and hide it from tax authorities. >> you talk about pirate banks. a >> this is the business of taking money and moving it to secret offshore accounts and sheltering from taxes. for example, if you're a wealthy mexican investor, you can hold your bank deposits in new york city in citibank or ubs tax-free and the u.s. government does not collect taxes on nonresident aliens. it does not tell the mexican authorities your earning that money. basically, we have designed our tax laws in the u.s., u.k., switzerland, to become the largest tax havens in the world. the actual offshore islands like the caymans are just conduit's to these ultimate destinations. >> people would say, we knew that about swiss banks, but not
8:49 am
for u.s. banks. >> absolutely. historically, the leaders have been the u.k. banks, u.s. banks, and swiss banks. our treasury is trying to get this with private bankers to stop coming to the u.s. and taking money from wealthy americans. our banks have been doing the same thing for decades, with respect to land america, the philippines, much of africa, and that system the banks have design. >> let's talk about the continent of africa and what this means for various countries. most important, the majority of the populations. >> ned jarrett is supposedly a debtor country. when we look at the outflows, insurers nigeria is like many other developing countries -- it shows ned jarrett is like many other developing countries. if you accumulate all the unrecorded capital flows that
8:50 am
accrued through the nigerian elite, political and private sector, the tiny share of that country's population owns the vast amount of offshore wells. the debt problem is not really a debt problem, but a tax problem. developing countries account for about one-third of the $21 trillion to $32 chilean assets offshore. >> some of the critiques of the report you did, from cnbc -- your response? >> he has not read the report, basically. we've been careful to estimate the size of this black hole using three different methods. with individually at the top 50
8:51 am
banks in the world and have detailed numbers of each one, looking at 139 developing countries where we can get data on how much the unrecorded capital flows work. we looked at data published by the bank for international settlements. the numbers are the best ever recorded. we're not suggesting there may not be problems on the spending side, but it is outrageous for the wealthiest people in the planet to play -- on the planet to not pay the amounts in taxes. basically, the globalization is driving a big hole to the nation state system designed to raise tax revenue. >> let's go to mitt romney. that is why the whole issue of offshore accounts has come into the big consciousness of the overall american population right now, the presumptive republican presidential nominee speaking to radio iowa earlier
8:52 am
this month about his foreign investments. >> with regards to any foreign investments, i enter stand and you understand that my investments have been held by a blind trust, managed by a trustee. i do not even know where they are. that trusty follows all u.s. laws, all the taxes are paid as appropriate, all of them have been reported to the government. there is nothing hidden. if you own shares, let's say in renault or fiat, you still have to disclose that and pay taxes in the u.s. >> james henry? prexy is not alone. basically, you're looking at behavior that is engaged a lot of mitt romneys, essentially, the u.s. is facing a stark choice in this election between the first president in history
8:53 am
who has had the offshore accounts like this. a lot of us who are tax experts and not necessarily democrats, by any means, just wonder what the heck is she hiding there? there must be something. john mccain released 23 years of his tax reports. romney is still stopping with 2010. if there is no problem, just released the returns may go i want to go more to mitt romney's, the issue of his hidden wealth. he was speaking to "face the nation" and senator dick durbin of illinois challenged mitt romney's to be more transparent with his finances. >> mitt romney has failed to make an economic disclosure that every president and candidate for president has made in the last 36 years. it goes back to his father who disclosed 12 years of tax returns. he disclosed one.
8:54 am
his the first and only candidate for president with a swiss bank account with tax shelters, with tax avoidance schemes that involve some any foreign countries. the third is, when it comes down to his swiss bank account, there's just no way to explain it. you either get a swiss bank account to conceal what you're doing, or believe the swiss franc a stronger than the american dollar. >> i think he is right. we should demand the disclosure. this is a situation where you essentially have representation without taxation that only for individuals, but for corporations that are able to move their money offshore and conceal it, then come back to washington and have enormous political impact, spending their money under citizens united. romney is just one stellar example of that. >> name more name of the banks, who people should be watching for, and what you think should be done. >> hsbc is no. 3 on our list. they recently had a deferred
8:55 am
prosecution agreement with the department of justice for laundering $14 million of cartel drug money. they got off with a $1 billion parking ticket. profits per year are about $20 billion. this is the obama administration basically deciding not to close this bank, even though investigators i have spoken to at the bank, who looked closely at the bank, said this is like the 1990's british daily differences that was a pakistani bank, which we decided to close down. hsbc is one of the top 10 banks on the list. collectively, this 10 banks manage about $6.30 trillion of the $12.30 trillion located in the top 50 banks. the other names mentioned, at ubs, credit suisse, hsbc, jpmorgan, deutsche bank, barclays. >> what about large
8:56 am
corporations? he talked about moving intellectual property offshore. corporations like google and pfizer? >> and our fellow "were not broke" we talk about corporate tax evasion. this is the latest in the software industry and the health-care industry, drug industry, but pfizer, google, microsoft, companies like general electric are parking their intellectual property, their brands and software, offshore and places like bermuda and paying royalties to themselves and essentially adopting the profits in these low tax jurisdictions and not paying any taxes. last year google saved about $3 billion buyback. if you have this core value, intellectual capital, moving offshore to low tax havens where it has ever been produced, essentially is kind of a deep capitalization of the u.s.. all of these countries part
8:57 am
these profits abroad to get tax breaks, then they won a deal when they bring the money back. they won it repatriation tax cut, 5%. >> what should happen? we tried the repatriation tax cut in 2004 and it did not produce any jobs. we should absolutely not get -- given to this lobby. corporate income taxes and personal income taxes have dropped steadily since the 1980's on high income corporations. at the same time, we've seen the growth of the offshore havens. it is not driven by tax rates, but driven by greed. >> james henry, why did you decide to do this report? your chief economist at mckinsey, which is not so different from bain capital. >> i've done a few things since then. i with an organization that has grown up the last decade to five offshore havens.
8:58 am
volunteersated working on this problem of global tax justice. this is vital to democracy as well as to the tax system, because if you cannot have their taxes, you end up having representation without taxation. the poorest countries in the world are forced to rely on very regressive taxes to pay their bills. >> we will have a link to your report, james henry, a former chief economist at mckinsey and company and author of the report, "the price of offshore revisited." that is today's program. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
8:59 am

131 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on